Just Following God’s Lead

For the Lord loves the people…
From Psalm 149:4

We’re celebrating a our second grandchild’s birthday this week. Grandpa and I came up with a creative plan for our grandchildren’s birthdays a few years ago. Rather than purchasing numerous gifts which sometimes go by the wayside in short order, we decided to share the gift of our time with them. We planned overnight stays, special dinners and outings for each one. Our hope was that the special attention would underscore the love that we feel for each of them twenty-four/seven. This year, our four-year-old grandson will enjoy his first overnight birthday stay with us. So far, these special times together have been far more enjoyable than we ever expected. Hopefully, we’ll do the same for our youngest grandson in a few years!

Though I can recall very few of the gifts I received for my own childhood birthdays, I do remember the celebrations with my mom, dad and siblings who sang “Happy Birthday” and offered hugs in abundance on those special days. I also remember the story books and picnics shared, the reassurances at 3:00 AM, and the “I love you!” that accompanied a good-night kiss. I especially remember the forgiveness offered after a much-deserved scolding.

Hopefully, Grandpa and I will succeed in giving all of our grandchildren the best gift of all: the affection of a family who truly loves them.

Dearest God, we would not know how to gift one another with love if you had not shown us the way.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Aging Happily!

Only goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.

Psalm 23:6

In a few weeks, I’ll be a year older. I admit that I fully appreciate the opportunity to hang on to each year’s newly awarded number for the duration. After all, I usually don’t get used to my new “age” until a few months into it. I also admit that the efforts of my husband, our sons, our daughters-in-law and our grandkids sooth the sting of getting older. I find great pleasure in all of their secretive planning. The behind-the-scenes activity is the best part of whatever will transpire.

This wasn’t the case when I was a little girl. I had one birthday party. Because our household budget was perpetually stretched to its limit, I continue to be amazed that I dared to ask for this party and that my mom agreed to host it. I have no recollection of the planning. I recall that my three friends joined me for ice cream, cake and games that day. I remember my best friend’s gift because he slipped that shiny half-dollar into my hand ever so gently. This party was extremely important to me because I longed for the recognition that only a “birthday boy” or “birthday girl” receives. In the end, however, I was completely overwhelmed by it all. Because my shyness kept me from enjoying that limelight, I stood by and watched.

This year’s birthday and the many I’ve shared with my family are quite different. There is never cause for shyness because these are my very own family. I’m never uneasy or self-conscious with them because my roles as wife and Mom and Grandma are steeped in shared love. What is there to be overwhelmed by, except the joy of it all?

Loving God, once again I thank you for my loved ones, the gift of their love and the gift of your love..

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Gifted With Love

For the Lord loves the people…
From Psalm 149:4

Grandpa and I have come with a creative plan for our granddaughters’ birthdays a few years ago. Rather than purchasing numerous gifts which sometimes go by the wayside in short order, we decided to share the gift of our time with them. We planned overnight stays, special dinners and outings for each one. Our hope was that the special attention would underscore the love that we feel for each of them twenty-four/seven. So far, these specials times together have been far more enjoyable than we ever expected. Hopefully, our now school-aged granddaughters will convince their little cousin that staying overnight with Grandma and Grandpa is the best!

Though I can recall very few of the gifts I received for my own childhood birthdays I do remember the celebrations with my mom, dad and siblings who sang “Happy Birthday” and offered hugs in abundance on those special days. I also remember the story books and picnics shared, the reassurances at 3:00 AM, and the “I love you!” that accompanied a good-night kiss. I especially remember the forgiveness offered after a much-deserved scolding.

Hopefully, Grandpa and I will succeed in giving our grandchildren the best gift of all: the affection of a family who truly loves them.

Dearest God, we would not know how to gift one another with love if you had not shown us the way.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

The Gift of Love

Only goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.

Psalm 23:6

As my birthday approaches, my husband and sons share secretive emails marked “For Dad”. I find great pleasure in their efforts. All of this planning is far more valuable to me than any gifts they will eventually purchase. As I smile, I recall a childhood birthday…

I had one birthday party. Because our household budget was always stretched to its limit, I continue to be amazed that I actually asked for this party and that my mom agreed to host it. Though I have no recollection of the planning, I do know that my three friends joined me for ice cream, cake and games. Though I remember my best friend’s gift, I don’t recall anything else. At the time, this party was extremely important to me. I yearned for the recognition that only a “birthday boy” or “birthday girl” receives. In the end, I was overwhelmed by it all. My shyness kept me from enjoying the limelight I had longed for.

This birthday and the many I have shared with my husband and sons are different. There is never cause for shyness because they are my very own family. I’m never shy or self-conscious with them. My husband has remained for decades and my sons learned their first lessons in love from me. What is there to be overwhelmed by, except the joy of it all?

Loving God, once again I think you for the gift of love. There is no greater joy than to share it!.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved